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Roundup: Durango’s defense dominates Spring Valley

Durango’s defense was so dominant Friday at Spring Valley that it didn’t need an offense.

So for a full quarter it played without one.

The Trailblazers returned an interception and a fumble for a touchdown in the third quarter against the Grizzlies and didn’t have an offensive snap. The defense scored enough to win on its own in Durango’s third straight victory, a 47-0 rout that gave the program back-to-back shutouts the first time since 2011.

“Our defense has stepped up every game,” said junior defensive back/wide receiver Michael Hayword, who had one of the defensive TDs. “We’re trying to get the No. 1 defense in Nevada.”

The Trailblazers (3-3, 2-0 Southwest League) held Spring Valley (2-3, 1-1) to 80 total yards. They played smart as well as physical, hitting the Grizzlies with a few perfectly timed blitzes that led to 12 negative plays.

“We watch a lot of film. We know what formations (are coming),” Hayword said. “We just study the game. Our defense just knows when to go and when to react.”

Durango’s offense was impressive as well and scored TDs on five of its six possessions. Quarterback Kaden Renshaw ran on five of the Trailblazers’ first six plays and then settled into a rhythm, throwing for two TDs and rushing for two more.

“We just wanted to get him going a little bit,” coach Toby Henry said. “Get the juices flowing. We feel like when he gets a couple carries, he plays a little bit better.”

It almost didn’t matter how Renshaw and the rest of the offense played with the performance of Durango’s defense, which has allowed 66 points in six games. The team was tested early with non-league games against Basic, Desert Pines and Foothill but Henry believes it emerged from those tests better.

“We’re ready to make a playoff run right now,” Henry said.

Virgin Valley 35, Rancho 0 — At Rancho, Meb Hollingshead threw for three touchdowns and ran for one as the Bulldogs beat the Rams.

The Bulldogs were coming off their first loss of the season, a 27-20 defeat at Boulder City, but quickly got back on track against the Rams.

Hollingshead was 9-for-15 passing for 196 yards as Virgin Valley (6-1, 1-1 Sunrise League) went to the air more.

“We wanted to get that bad taste out our mouths right away,” Bulldogs coach Matt Woods said. “We came out throwing through the air and work on that part of our game.”

Hollingshead first used his feet to get the Bulldogs on the board against the Rams (1-6, 0-2). Midway through the first quarter, Hollingshead faked a handoff on an option play and then weaved his way past several Ram defenders en route to a 24-yard touchdown run and a quick 7-0 lead.

From there, Virgin Valley went with the deep ball.

Hollingshead hit Jake Hampsten for a 68-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-0 with 4:24 left in the opening quarter. After Virgin Valley recovered a Rancho fumble, it took only a single play for Hollingshead to hit Case Crandall downfield for a 39-yard scoring play. Early in the second quarter, Hollingshead again found Hampsted deep on a 42-yard touchdown pass, building the lead 28-0 at the time.

Virgin Valley didn’t utilize fullback Wyatt Delano as much. The junior still finished with nine carries for 80 yards, including a 21-yard touchdown run with three minutes left in the first half.

Pahrump Valley 38, Cheyenne 12 — At Pahrump, the Trojans had three players with 100 rushing yards as they upset the Desert Shields.

Casey Flennory rushed for 126 yards on 18 carries to lead Pahrump. Nico Velazquez added 104 yards on 21 carries, and Joey Koenig rushed for 100 yards and a TD on eight carries for the Trojans (3-3, 1-1 Sunset League).

Koenig scored on a 4-yard run and also caught a 20-yard scoring pass from Dylan Wright.

The Trojans also got a punt return touchdown from Jalen Denton and a 3-yard TD run from Andrew Avena.

Cheyenne, which was ranked No. 2 in Class 3A, fell to 5-2, 1-1.

Moapa Valley 48, Sunrise Mountain 6 — At Overton, Luke Bennett threw three touchdown passes as the Pirates rolled past the Miners.

Bennett completed 8 of 16 passes for 148 yards, and Braeden St. John added 10 carries for 115 yards and two TDs for the Pirates (6-1, 2-0 Sunrise League).

Derek Reese caught two touchdown passes, and Hayden Redd hauled in a TD pass for Moapa Valley, which is ranked No. 1 in Class 3A. The Pirates took a 27-0 lead at the half.

Sunrise Mountain fell to 1-5, 0-1.

Lincoln County 35, Needles 14 — At Panaca, Kamdon Lewis scored three touchdowns as the Lynx knocked off the Mustangs in a key Class 2A Southern League game.

Lewis scored on runs of 53 and 45 yards and added a 19-yard interception return for a score in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.

Lewis finished with 114 yards on eight carries, and Noah Smith added 155 yards and two TDs on 12 carries for the Lynx (5-0, 2-0 Southern).

Smith scored on runs of 79 and 2 yards to help Lincoln County open up a 19-0 lead in the first quarter.

Needles’ Tyler White had a 75-yard kickoff return for a score with 1:58 to go in the first quarter, then caught a 31-yard scoring pass from Nathan Parker with 4:58 left in the second quarter to cut the lead to 19-14.

But Lewis’ second TD run made it 27-14 at the half.

Needles fell to 4-2, 1-1.

Pahrangat Valley 46, Indian Springs 0 — At Indian Springs, Preston Higbee fired three touchdown passes and ran for a score as the Panthers routed the Thunderbirds.

Higbee completed 5 of 6 passes for 105 yards, and had two carries for 15 yards and a TD.

Stockton Maxwell caught three passes for 65 yards and two TDs, and Jesse Jones, Reece Thornton and Kobi Fiatoa added TD receptions for the Panthers (4-0, 3-0 1A Southern League).

Thornton also had a touchdown run for Pahranagat Valley, and Fiatoa had three tackles and an interception.

Indian Springs fell to 0-4, 0-2.

Trinity Classical (California) 46, Calvary Chapel 0 — At Valencia, California, the Knights shut out the Lions.

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